Hey duelists, I’m here to fill you in on my experience at the 2014 Kaijudo summer championship. I cannot put into words how much fun I was able to have in such a short amount of time so I hope that everyone will take an opportunity to attend a KMC or winter champs because it is a fun filled experience that leaves you just loving the game even more.
Before anything I just want to share with you something that Tyler Hine shared with us, it is a smartphone app called Uber (www.uber.com ). You sign up with your credit card, drop a pin on the map to have a taxi come and pick you up and bring you to where you need to go. Since the ride is charged to your card it is a very fast way to get where you need to go in any major city and it made my trip so much easier being able to Uber our way around downtown Seattle. If you want to use this or try it out, use code wjcxk for $10 off.
Friday, the LCQ’s happened and it was very interesting to finally be able to see some of the decks people have been working on. It was also finally time to see the meta-game finally become established. I was very excited to see what decks people came up with. One of the more popular decks I saw was a turbo Haven deck that utilized Johnny Darkseed and Fullmetal Lemon to give you enough mana to make it to your bomb drops. This made me very excited because prior to coming to champs, Joshua and myself had been testing what to play at champs and this card combo was something that we had come up with in another deck. It was satisfying to see that so many people had ideas that so closely rivaled ours. Another popular deck I saw was what I called, “The Anti-Deck”, a hand destruction deck that wins with Regent Sasha. During the LCQs there were tons of side events to play in but the most prominent event was the fill and fire draft pods, there were enough people at the venue that we were able to sign up for a draft and almost instantly fire one off. With prize wall points and packs on the line I was sure to take advantage of this fun time of being able to draft with everyone from every corner of North America. Later on in the day there was an exclusive session with Wizard’s R&D which was very insightful for Kaijudo. It included growth for our community and the game as a whole. After a feast which Wizard’s of the Coast provided for all of the qualified champions, there was a Q&A panel where it was revealed that the Winter Championship would be held in Providence, RI and it would also feature “the open open”. Everybody in the room was very excited to have a championship held on the east coast. They also had a create-a-card challenge where we were revealed two super rare cards and were asked to create the cards. Using the process of iteration, everyone that was interested in creating a card was able to work one on one with the staff of Kaijudo using the same process that R&D uses to create their very own sets! it was awesome being able to talk with everyone and seeing the direction that they are trying to push the game in.
Saturday, day of the championship; the night earlier I was fortunate enough to be shown a deck list that I felt very comfortable with and ended up playing in the tournament but before that we had to compete in 3 rounds of draft. Everybody was seated in their pod and the packs had already been open and stamped for the integrity of the tournament, I felt that this entire process went very smoothly for being the first time draft would be used in a premier level event, I had a pretty fierce draft table having both Robert Hebert and Rob Wolinsky in my pod. In my second pack I was fortunate enough to open a Warmaster Tatsurion. After the first round of drafting I was able to make my audible to switch my color dedication in the rest of the draft after trying to dedicate to light. I ended up getting the bye in the first round because my table only had 7 people. The second round I had won my match with Tatsurion for clutch victory and the third match I got destroyed by Charging Greatclaw, he was bigger than anything I could play and death became imminent.
After the first 3 rounds of champs there was a lunch break and afterwards we sat down to play 3 rounds of constructed. Below is the deck list that I played at champs
2 Skybound Keeper
2 Cassiopeia Starborn
2 Eternal Haven
1 Underworld Stalker
2 Trox, the Merciless
3 Terror pit
1 Maddening Whispers
2 Verdant Helix
3 Root Trap
1 General Skycrusher
1 Blaze helix
1 Absolute Incineration
2 Blastforge Sweeper
1 Warmaster Tatsurion
2 Dragon-Knight Volaron
2 Johnny Darkseed
2 Full Metal Lemon
1 Major Ao
2 Goop Striker
Want this deck? Copy and paste it into our deck builder here!
Before I continue with my report I just wanted to show you a few combos in this deck that really stand out to me and define what this deck is capable of. Johnny Darkseed is a very powerful card that allows you to be able to
play the bomb drop cards like but not limited to Eternal Haven and Cassiopeia Starborn Banishing your lemon/striker + the mana storm from Darkseed sets you up for 9 mana your following turn. Even if you end up mana zoning your bombs you can get them back later with Verdant Helix and always have what you want. I strongly encourage building your own deck using the Johnny Darkseed combo to help get you to your favorite bomb cards out in a meta-game that was predicted to have marked the end of control decks.
Overall, I felt very confident in playing this list and looking back my only regret is that I did not play Ironwill Tree over Skybound Keeper and three Blaze Helix over playing one Blaze Helix and two Drill Storm. Ironwill Tree would have saved me many times during the tournament. The prime reason I lost my matches was that my opponent used hand destruction to control the board. The first round I was paired against Robert Hebert who was playing his original CLG list aka the anti-deck. Right in the beginning he opened into Mesmerize/Maddening Whispers destroying anything I would have been able to do and sent me for a swift beating.
Round 2 I faced off against a Hive Queen deck that had me on the ropes but in the end Eternal Haven was bigger than anything they could have played and I clutched a great victory. My final round for the day I faced off against what seemed to be the mirror. Two ferocious battles ensued but going into the third round I was defeated by the Mesmerize/Maddening whispers combo for no chance of a comeback.
Going into day two there was a possibility of an x-3 making into the top cut but unfortunately my fourth round I was paired against Spencer Swan who was also playing a similar version of the anti-deck and could not stop the hand destruction. Following my loss I was able to drop from the championship because I was no longer in contentions for the top cut of the tournament and I entered in the community cup. This was a sealed event where everyone received 5 packs and you build a 30 card deck out of your 5 packs, I was super lucky and got another Warmaster Tatsurion, I was so excited because Tatsurion by himself has been known to win games that would be otherwise unwinnable. I did not end up doing well but I had so much fun playing in the tournament and spending the past two days in Seattle that I felt no salt at all and the trip ended up being so much more than just another tournament to attend. I hope to see everyone soon at the KMCs coming up including our very own here at Kirwans Game Store and the Winter Championship in Providence!
Special thanks to all of my friends that made my trip the best trip it possibly could have been, I am so thankful to have a Kaijudo Family!
Til next time duelists – Rob